Literally the worst commercial you have ever seen in your life
January 23, 2023 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Black Eyed Peas’ Label Sues Pooping Unicorns Toymaker For $10M The Black Eyed Peas’ record label is suing the makers of a pooping unicorn toy over the company’s unauthorized parody of “My Humps.”...In a promotional video published last summer, the unicorns perform a parody of “My Humps” involving lyrics like “Whatchu gonna do with all that poop? All that poop?” and “Gonna get loopy off my poopy!”

Seriously, I already hate "My Humps" and had no idea IT COULD GET SO MUCH WORSE. SOOOOOOO MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH WOOOOOOOOOOOORSE. Like are they seriously saying they eat poop every day?! Poop designer bags?! Rocking a poopsie?

Not related to Squatty Potty and its unicorn commercials, which would have improved the um, product.
posted by jenfullmoon (53 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not sure who to root for here.
posted by adamrice at 8:12 PM on January 23 [26 favorites]


Toot for, surely.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:14 PM on January 23 [5 favorites]


Site won't load with an adblocker; alternative links here and here.
posted by xedrik at 8:15 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Poopsi Blue (glitter)?
posted by Theiform at 8:29 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Suing? They should be grateful the song finally made it to #2!
posted by staggernation at 9:03 PM on January 23 [39 favorites]




It was a terrible song that deserved this fate, but also this as feels like it was generated on Hell's AI.
posted by emjaybee at 9:25 PM on January 23 [9 favorites]


Is it possible for a judge to sentence both the defendant and the plaintiff to death?
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:25 PM on January 23 [41 favorites]


show the unicorns poopin u cowards
posted by Going To Maine at 10:13 PM on January 23 [18 favorites]


We're not going to make it, are we? People, I mean.
posted by krisjohn at 10:16 PM on January 23 [30 favorites]


I hate living in the future.
posted by charismatic megafauna at 10:40 PM on January 23 [8 favorites]


The actual product (slime inside a poop-shaped container) apparently does not meet Canadian safety standards.
posted by emjaybee at 10:44 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


This is the perfect poetic use case of this song , they should be glad it got a second run after a stint as musical torture for folks around the turn of the century.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:48 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Is this a dream? Am I still asleep?
posted by d_hill at 10:48 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


Weird Al famously got permission for his parodies even though he didn't need to. Not sure what argument the label can make to win this. I wouldn't be surprised if it just the threat of an expensive lawsuit suit so they can settle for $$$.
posted by gible at 11:07 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


"That much will become immediately evident when you watch below — and come on, is there any way you’re not going to watch?"

oh yeah. there is every way I am not going to watch.
posted by not_on_display at 11:16 PM on January 23 [15 favorites]


A friend used to work in a hospital amputee ward.

Apparently in a type of rite passed on through the changing patients, they'd regularly blast out the original song, but changed the lyrics to 'my lumps' whilst singing along proudly, and wheeling around the ward.

So for that alone makes me happy to hear the original.
This parody for unicorns.. just no.
posted by many-things at 11:44 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


We're not going to make it, are we? People, I mean.

Well. Um. Where were you trying to go?
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:06 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Do not taunt Poopsie Cutie Tooties Surprise.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:07 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


BMG is suing MGA over the ad, claiming that the company did not receive permission to use “My Humps” and ignored multiple cease-and-desist orders
When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.
posted by flabdablet at 3:47 AM on January 24




Weird Al famously got permission for his parodies even though he didn't need to. Not sure what argument the label can make to win this

This isn't a parody or a cover, though. It's a new composition that rips off the vocal style, melody, rhythm, and general vibe of the original. They might have a defense if they'd recorded an actual cover (although I still don't think it would fly, synced to video), but given that it's a sound-alike, I think they're on tough legal ground (especially after the Blurred Lines debacle), and BMG has a good case here.

But also, like, this is great. I wish I had been in the room where "my poops" got greenlit.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:32 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]


a line of dancing unicorn toys that poop out sparkling slime

wasn't on my 2023 Apocalypse Bingo Card
posted by chavenet at 4:43 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


I was kind of disappointed that we never once get to SEE this fabled poop they keep hyping in the song tho.
posted by some loser at 4:54 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


I don't agree with the framing of this post, but thanks for sharing it. I just watched it ten times and sent it to everyone I know. I LOVE it!
posted by snofoam at 5:17 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


This isn't a parody or a cover, though. It's a new composition that rips off the vocal style, melody, rhythm, and general vibe of the original.

I think this is an interesting lawsuit, because Black Eyed Peas have used samples and bits of other people's songs in their music for 20 years...haven't listened to them lately but they sure did back in 2001 era.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:29 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


The only good version of this song was on a Defective Yeti blog post in late 2005: https://web.archive.org/web/20201109015243/https://www.defectiveyeti.com/archives/001534.html

(Please allow the Wayback Machine a moment to render the page: it's totally worth it.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:03 AM on January 24


This isn't a parody or a cover, though. It's a new composition that rips off the vocal style, melody, rhythm, and general vibe of the original.

Isn't that just a description of what a (musical) parody is?
posted by Dysk at 6:06 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]


Site won't load with an adblocker; alternative links here and here.
Thanks for the heads up - but it was too late for me and I now have the term “poopsie slime surprise dancing unicorns” indelibly embedded in my YouTube search history. I fear dire retribution from the algorithm.
posted by rongorongo at 6:13 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


oh, but you have to see the actual poop. It seems like a lot of work, tbh.
posted by EllaEm at 6:15 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Missed opportunity not calling it “My Dumps”
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:36 AM on January 24 [20 favorites]


Weird that this is happening at them same time OK Go is being sued by the company that ripped them off (Post Cereal) for ripping them off.

Also, come to think of it, OK Go would be a pretty good name for this unicorn toy.
posted by adamrice at 6:44 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


oh, but you have to see the actual poop yt . It seems like a lot of work, tbh.

I'd say they were polishing a turd, but they clearly bedazzled it.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:03 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Weird Al famously got permission for his parodies even though he didn't need to. Not sure what argument the label can make to win this

There's two types of copyrights on a song, mechanical (songwriting and composition) and performance (the artist rendition of that specific performance). Weird Al sure as hell pays mechanical royalties for all his satire (almost everything that isn't original) and probably his parodies (Six Words Long, Smells Like Nirvana, all those Polka medleys) as well.

This mob wouldn't be required to pay performance royalties but they sure as hell need to pay mechanical royalties even if they're using a compulsory license which they probably wouldn't be able to get given they aren't pressing and selling the track (which is the only thing the compulsory license really covers).

In this case they're probably infringing on the mechanical rights. The toymakers are utterly fucked.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:05 AM on January 24


Things don't necessarily have to be done the way Weird Al does them; he wants songwriter credit and royalties on his own records.

This is getting old, but, as linked in that writeup:

Stranger in Parodies: Weird Al and the Law of Musical Satire
(Fordham IP, Medial & Entertainment Law Journal, 1990)
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:09 AM on January 24


he wants songwriter credit and royalties on his own records.

Nope. He shares songwriter credits on all his satire/parody tracks:

Straight from his website: "If you’re not sure whether a song is an original or a parody, check the writing credits in the liner notes of Al’s albums."

Even if he writes new lyrics he still has to share credit with the composer.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:12 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Shared credit is still credit.

At any rate, Weird Al's choices—informed by his commercial relationships and stature—do not establish the law of fair use.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:13 AM on January 24


given they aren't pressing and selling the track (which is the only thing the compulsory license really covers)

No longer strictly true, as of 2018's Music Modernization Act. Though a compulsory mechanical license doesn't cover derivative works (where redoing an arrangement is not usually considered a derivative change, but e.g. changing lyrics is, if my very-not-a-US-lawyer understanding of the situation is correct) so that's not relevant anyway. Weird Al may be widely assumed not to need permission because of the US parody fair use exception, but that didn't stop e.g. Megadeth's version of These Boots with new lyrics being pulled due to legal threats from Lee Hazelwood, so it's not quite so clear-cut.
posted by Dysk at 7:18 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


EllaEm: “oh, but you have to see the actual poop . It seems like a lot of work, tbh.”
Jesus wept.

Bad news, y'all. Still nothing doing on the asteroid.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:38 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Jesus wept.

Glitter is His dried tears.

(you transubstantiate your way, I'll transubstantiate mine)

☆☆
posted by flabdablet at 8:32 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: show the unicorns poopin u cowards
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 12:29 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


Also, via the comments on jwz's blog:

(This is of course not the first time a wide-eyed shitting unicorn has graced these pages.)

"JWZ's blog looks interesting, but I don't have time to make a decision about reading it regularly or not. Give me a single sentence that encapsulates the entire thing and perfectly defines what I'd be getting myself into."
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 12:32 PM on January 24


> Give me a single sentence that encapsulates the entire thing and perfectly defines what I'd be getting myself into

An attempt:

"JWZ's blog is the sort of stuff you'd think was interesting if you ran a club in SF, wrote Xscreensaver and was on the front lines when Microsoft nuked Netscape."

(I subscribe to the RSS feed.)
posted by krisjohn at 4:17 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


There would be a better argument that this was a fair use due to parody if this song were just a savage takedown, and not mostly a commercial for selling toys.

Did Peaches get sued over "My Dumps"? Did she get permission from the Black Eyed Peas? Should she join the lawsuit, because she had the idea of a poop-based My Humps parody first?

Also, what in the actual fuck? Why is any of this a thing?
posted by surlyben at 4:23 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Commerciality is only one part of one prong of the fair-use analysis (maybe two, depending on whether you include impact on the original's value), but I agree it would be a whole lot stronger if it weren't an ad for a shitty (heh) toy.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:42 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry . . . what were you saying? Something about the Fall of the Roman Empire?
posted by the hot hot side of randy at 6:29 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Is it possible for a judge to sentence both the defendant and the plaintiff to death?

Seneca the Younger recounts in De Ira the tale of a Roman soldier, who had been sentenced to death for the presumed murder of his comrade, who had gone missing while the two were on leave together.

Just as the condemned was to be beheaded, the missing soldier reappeared, alive and well. The executioner halted the execution, and brought both soldiers before the judge.

The judge, enraged, sentenced all three men to death: the original defendant, because the sentence had already been passed; the executioner, for failing to perform his duty; and the presumed victim, who had gone missing without leave, for causing the deaths of the other two.

Altogether a bit excessive really, given that none of them had made this video.
posted by automatronic at 8:51 PM on January 24 [7 favorites]


I never would have expected a thread on unicorn poop and an even more terrible song to have turned into an intellectual discussion of Seneca, Roman soldiers and executions, but here we are.

What have I wrought?

P.S. can't stop laughing.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:39 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


IANAL, but I believe that the mechanical rights to a song--while they do allow anyone to cover a song, as long as they split the credit/pay our royalties--still require permission from (and compensation to) the individual(s) holding the publishing rights to use a song in film/tv/commercials. Otherwise, you could just hire studio musicians and make a soundtrack for your shitty film that was just covers of all of the latest hits, or set your commercials to soundalikes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:47 AM on January 25


Soundalikes in ads is pretty common though, there's an entire industry for them. Sometimes it's just to avoid issues with the performance rights, but often it's just somewhere on the spectrum of grey area to outright illegal, depending on just how much the soundalike does in fact sound alike.
posted by Dysk at 6:46 AM on January 25


Soundalikes in ads is pretty common though, there's an entire industry for them. Sometimes it's just to avoid issues with the performance rights, but often it's just somewhere on the spectrum of grey area to outright illegal, depending on just how much the soundalike does in fact sound alike.

I have been part of a situation where an ad agency's musicologist decided a track I wrote was close enough to an existing major-label track as to invite a lawsuit. It was nobody's opinion that the other rightsholder would actually win the suit, just that it was possible and could cost everyone a lot of money and trouble. I re-wrote the track.

Point being: reputable ad agencies don't use soundalikes. I think you're conflating soundalikes with re-recordings, which are extremely common. It is much easier to get sync rights for a song from the publisher than it is to get sync rights for a recording from the record label, for obvious reasons.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:03 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


I don't doubt that decent as agencies don't go for soundalikes routinely, but there are a lot of scumbag ad agencies out there.
posted by Dysk at 7:17 AM on January 25


I probably muddied the issue by using the term soundalike when I really meant "cover that tries to hew closely enough to the original as to be difficult to distinguish."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:21 AM on January 25


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